Georgia’s Film Industry Boom Generates Big Demand for Skilled Film-making Talent
As the film industry in Georgia continues to grow exponentially, so does the demand for skilled film-making talent. Georgia is now ranked third in the nation, behind only Hollywood and New York, for number of productions. Gwinnett Technical College is a proud educational partner working in tandem with the Georgia Film Academy to meet the workforce demands of this booming $7.2 billion industry.
Recently, Gwinnett Tech was the first technical college in Georgia to award Georgia Film Academy Certificates to students that are seeking to launch exciting careers in film-making. Forty-six students successfully completed the 32-week inaugural program that offers hands-on training and experience in major film and television productions.
Rebecca Alexander, Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs for Gwinnett Tech says, “Breaking into the film industry is not easy. On-set film workers need very specific training. The film industry is fast-paced and time is money. Film producers want skilled workers that can hit the ground running from day one. At Gwinnett Tech we’re committed to ensuring our Georgia Film Academy graduates are equipped and ready to fill these high-demand jobs.”
The Georgia Film Academy program is an 18-credit hour program, comprised of two courses specifically designed to provide students with on-set film production skills.The first course combines classroom instruction and hands-on experience with industry standard equipment. The second is a semester on-set, where students learned and honed their craft while working with the crew of a professional production. The program prepares students for entry-level positions both on set and in production offices. Students can earn credits towards their AA, AAS or BA degree. A stand-alone certificate is also offered to non-credit seeking students.
Gwinnett Tech’s 46 Georgia Film Academy students completed their on-set internships on a total of 11 television and movie productions, including The Walking Dead, Spiderman, Krystal, Finding Steve McQueen, Adult Swim, Stan Against Evil, Life of the Party, Step Sisters, and Media. Some also worked with equipment and studio rental companies like Cineverse and MBS. Many Gwinnett Tech students have already landed coveted industry jobs directly from their internships.
An estimated 79,000 Georgians work in the industry today. There are currently more than 40 television shows and feature film projects in varying stages of production in Georgia. By June 2017 an estimated 1,100 students are slated to graduate from the Georgia Film Academy. Industry growth over the next 3-5 years is projected to generate 3,000 -5,000 new jobs in Georgia, most of which are on the set. The average earnings in those jobs is $84,000 a year.
With a GFA certification, jobs can be gained in any of the following categories, all of which are needed to build a crew for film and television productions:
- Set Production Assistant
- Office PA
- Art: Set Dressers & Props
- Hair/Make-Up/Wardrobe Procedures
- Sound: Mixer, Boom Operator, Utility
- Camera: Operator, Camera Assistants (1st & 2nd)
- Electric: On-Set Lamp Operators
- Grip: On-Set, Dolly Grip
- Locations: Managing
- Craft Services
- Script Supervision Procedures
- Video Assist
Gwinnett Tech was honored to be one of three academic institutions that helped Georgia Film Academy pilot this program in 2016. The pilot has proven most successful and has resulted in the academy expanding to nine college campuses in Georgia. Aspiring filmmakers looking to break into the industry are encouraged to learn more about the Georgia Film Academy at GeorgiaFilmAcademy.org or call Gwinnett Tech direct at 770-962-7580.